by Jason Patterson | UTAH
So far Romney has been silent on whether he plans make a bid for the Senate from Utah, Mitt Romney’s Twitter profile account was updated from being from Massachusetts to Holladay, Utah hinting he may make a run.
Romney was already even registered to vote in Utah, and the update on Tuesday made it Twitter official.
Earlier in the day, Senator Orrin Hatch announced he would indeed retire at the end of his current term. This leaves a spot to replace him. Romney — a former Massachusetts governor, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and a chief conservative critic of President Donald Trump’s demeanor during the 2016 election — is considered a top possible contender.
Some noted earlier Tuesday that Romney’s Twitter page had pinned his location in Massachusetts, and a cache of his profile captured at the end of 2017 showed the same.
Shortly after Hatch’s announcement Tuesday, Romney issued a statement thanking Hatch for serving in the Senate — while leaving his own political future unaddressed — and his account’s location was updated to Holladay, Utah.
Now we will break down this race and why Romney should run.
By any measure you look at, Utah comes out as one of the most Republican-leaning states in the country. The GOP holds a massive 4-to-1 advantage over Democrats in voter registrations. According to Gallup, only Wyoming gives Republicans a larger lead in party affiliation. Republicans have won 15 consecutive Senate elections in the state dating back to 1974. Democrats haven’t even won a governor’s race in Utah since 1980. And even though Trump won the state by a smaller margin than every Republican presidential nominee except one dating back to 1964, he still was able to win by 18 percentage points.
Though Hatch has been unpopular in the state, he would have been a favorite for re-election. A November survey gave him a 15-point lead over potential Democratic nominee Jenny Wilson. Democrats are desperate for another Senate seat to contest in 2018 — in addition to Nevada and Arizona — but Utah probably isn’t the best place for them to look.
If he does enter the race, it’s hard to see him losing — the primary or the general. In a survey taken in November, Romney was rated among the most popular politician in the state. His net favorability among all voters was +47 percentage points — far higher than Trump’s. He also scored a +73 net favorability among Utah Republicans. (By contrast, Romney’s popularity among GOP voters nationally plummeted when he spoke out against Trump during the 2016 primaries.) The same poll found Romney with an astounding 51 percentage point lead against potential Democratic nominee Wilson. Also over 60 percent of Utah is Mormon just like Romney.
Prepare your lips to say Senator Romney.